The Meatwave

Grilled Queijo Coalho (Brazilian Cheese Skewers)

Grilled Queijo Coalho (Brazilian Cheese Skewers) View Recipe

At the start of the pandemic I made a list of cooking projects I wanted to tackle and, while I completed most all of them early on, there were a few stragglers, one of those being Detroit-style pizza. A year into the pandemic I finally decided to tick that pizza off my list and that recipe required me to order brick cheese online to make the most authentic version I could. I added a couple blocks of brick cheese to my cart and was left in the scenario where tossing a couple more cheeses in would result in free shipping and the order would actually come out costing less, so I began perusing the site for possible additions. One of the first places I looked was the "grilling cheese" category, which had the standard halloumi that I know and love, but another cheese I had not heard of—queijo coalho. This is a Brazilian cheese that is a common beach snack in the country, served skewered and grilled. I immediately knew I needed to try it, so added it to my cart and didn't look back.

Grilled Queijo Coalho

As I awaited the arrival of my cheese, I familiarized myself with it a bit more. Queijo coalho is made from cow's milk and translates to "rennet cheese." It's a firm cheese with a high melting point, hence its ability to be grilled.

Grilled Queijo Coalho

It does seems to often come pre-skewered, and I worried that maybe that was due to some difficulty in skewering that I wasn't fully prepared for, but that fear was unfounded. When it was time to grill this half pound brick, I first cut it into four long pieces and then ran some metal skewers through the center of each. There were some splits that formed here and there, but the cheese was pretty tender and the skewers went in with no majors problems or resistance.

Grilled Queijo Coalho

Based on recipes I saw and what I was reading, I expected this to act much like halloumi, which doesn't melt much at all, but just becomes browned and tender over the heat, but that was not the case here. I used a fresh, hot fire so I could sear the cheese quickly and things seemed to be going well at first.

Grilled Queijo Coalho

When I made the first flip, most of the browned cheese stayed in tact nicely, but I also noticed that the core was getting pretty soft too. I had four skewers and as I waited for them to all brown, one actually melted too much and was lost to the fire. That had me paying closer attention to the remaining three skewers that I had initially been planning on browning on all four sides, but ended up pulling off the grill after the second sides had browned because they were all getting more melty, but were still staying on the skewers well at this point and didn't want to chance losing another piece.

Grilled Queijo Coalho

Eating as-is, hot of the grill is just fine, but I read a sprinkling of dried oregano is also traditional, so gave that a shot since it offered a difference from the other grilled cheese recipes I've done. It probably shouldn't be as easy to eat a half pound of cheese as quickly and the wife and I consumed these, but they're best hot and went down easy, making gobbling them up a fast proposition. Comparing this to halloumi, this queijo coalho had a much more mild flavor with a noticeable saltiness and mellow tang, while its texture was more creamy than dense and squeaky, offering a very different grilled cheese experience. The crispness and intensity of flavor in the browned exterior was the best part, and the oregano sprinkle added a nice herbal sharpness that I was really digging with the flavor of the cheese. With just one bite you can easily understand why this would be such a popular beach snack, but with its melty innards and crispy exterior, I was left thinking that this cheese might also make for one ultimate grilled cheese sandwich where you actually grill the cheese first and then place it between toasted bread. Guess I'll need to put in another order to try out that idea!

Print Recipe

Grilled Queijo Coalho (Brazilian Cheese Skewers)

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 2 Minutes
  • Cook 6 Minutes
  • Total 8 Minutes


  • 1lb queijo coalho
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (optional)


  1. Slice cheese into strips roughly 4-inch long by 1-inch square. Skewer each piece of cheese lengthwise.
  2. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Place cheese skewers on grill and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Flip, using a thin metal spatula to help release cheese from grates if needed, and continue to cook until second side is browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer skewers to a serving platter and sprinkle with dried oregano (if using). Serve immediately.

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